(To Tali Feig – thanks for the accurate translation).
In the well known Jewish legends of the sages, an angel descends from the sky, with his fingers he touches a newborn baby above the lips, thus erasing from him all the knowledge he came with from upper worlds. This touch allows the baby the innocence, forgetfulness and ignorance, necessary for him to live life on earth as a human. The angels’ fingerprint, left in the form of an indentation above the upper lip, symbolizes the souls consent to forget its immortality, to forget it’s full identity which only a portion of is subjected to the physical laws of our universe. It makes it easier for the child to learn how to live in a world with confinements, to adjust for himself the laws of space and time as a sole reality, as a chosen illusion to live and grow in.
This is the first touch.
In the culture into which we are born there is another touch of forgetfulness – The Second Touch. This time there is no angel, and the angelic gentleness of the legend is also amiss. The Second Touch is gradual and painful. The request to forget with all our might comes from the child we used to be.
Somewhere between infancy and the beginning of adolescence, we all manage to forget the child that we were. We forget what we really requested from our parents, we forget the innocent and utter belief we had in this world. A screen of distorted beliefs and facts create a wall between ourselves and the child we used to be. It is essential in order to live with things that as children were considered intolerable to us. In order to survive in this world. We function successfully, continue to believe we are loved, continue believing that we are living, when actually all we are doing is surviving. The pathology turns into an ideology.
Major sections of the human wisdom, accumulate throughout the last thousand of years, are “infected with this touch, with this forgetfulness. Equipped with the power of forgetfulness, many parents can give their children, generation after generation, exactly what they didn’t want to receive from their parents. Due to the Second Touch, unspeakable life stories repeat themselves over and over.
Just like the same woman who suffered so much as a child from her parents emotional repress, yet keeps scolding her children when they request to much physical attention, and “believes” in straightforward restrictions to express feelings (gently, fluently, and only when there Is a justified reason). Or like the man who suffered so much in school because there was no one to notice his uniqueness, as a child he tried again and again to prove he was worth something, even though he wasn’t a good student – and he sends his kids to the same kind of school with the same kind of attitude. A place sanctifying
accomplishments and grades. He even finds logical explanations to justify this.
What will happen if you look upon your life from the point of view of the child that you were? How will the world look, what would your choices look like to you, the reality you created? What would happen to us, to each and every one of us, if we stop for a moment, return to our innocence, our faith, our freedom of thought, our imagination as children, and from this perspective we take a look again?
What do children see
I have a resting point. A Kind of premise from which I set forth and to which I return. A premise with which we can build our lives from, brick by brick. From this premise my life nourishes and grows, I can create any change and support the healing and growth of others. This premise is: what children see – is true.
I wish to clarify my meaning. It is charming and inspiring to listen to children, it strengthens the connection to the inner child; it also shakes us up and strengthens us to look our child in the eye and tell ourselves: “He is so wonderful, how I would like to be like him”.
But this is not what I mean. I mean that a child’s perspective, a healthy child, who hasn’t yet lost his innocence and complete trust in the world, is the only perspective that allows us to live in joy and fulfillment in this world. It is also the easy way for us, as parents, to understand our children, to see that that they actually request from us, through every difficulty they bring into our life.
You can us this perspective now. You can remember now to think like a child. Remember what you felt, what you believed in when you were so sweet jumping all over, with your eyes open, sparkling, running forward, laughing outloud, crying without shame, “milking life”. Just return to that place and everything makes sense.
It sounds so plain and simple, but why is it so complicated? Why are we not practicing this, right here and now?
What adults don’t see
The request and demand phases are followed by the giving-up phase. In this phase, while we closed the door behind us, we’ve also thrown away the key. After the “Second Touch” we left behind our simple and clear perspective. This was the only way for us to find our place. To fit in, next to mommy and daddy, in a world where a person’s journey from childhood to maturity is perceived as an awakening from fantasies.
Take a child. His eyes sparkle and his heart throbs. In the beginning of his journey he knows, he feels that everything is possible. But slowly, slowly he learns. With the help of his parents, and the aid of the community that he belongs to, he learns, phase by phase – to give up his dreams. He learns to give less and less notice to that which he wants, more and more notice to what makes sense, to what is possible. He understands that an adult is a person who knows how to live in reconciliation with the compromises of his life, who functions within the reality where the significant components to him always remain an inspiration. And he grows up. He gives up. Isn’t this sad?
It seems that it saddens most of us like the autumn does. Like a kind of natural phenomenon that awakens all kind of feelings. We look at the falling leaves, the grey skies. We become silent. Thoughtful. It seems that all that is left to do is to agree to this limitation.
Because in our world, it is very common to live life as an “extinguishing spark”.
But this life is intended to be a life of a “growing spark”.
Once, almost no one was even willing to admit this. Even today it is still “breaking news”. But more and more people, even if they don’t live by this, already understand it. In the life of a “growing spark”, the journey from childhood to maturity is like the process that a music band goes through from the rehearsal phase to the audience performance phase. The child, whose eyes sparkle and heart throbs, learns, guided by his parents and other adults in his life, to trust his inner-self more and more, his feelings and dreams. Like a music band in the rehearsal room, he has a lot of time and space and comfortable circumstances’, “to try out the instruments”, with no pressure. He can practice when he feels like it and rest when that feels right; he can shift between several musical creations (several dreams and talents and professions), until he finds a creation just right for him, a creation that really excites him. And then, when he decides that he is ready, he goes on stage. That is maturity.
In the maturity phase, the child’s celebration of his uniqueness, splendidness, and love of life bursts from the little practice room to the big hall (the world). He is ripe. Ready to give himself. Happy to commit to whom he is, to the truth revealed to him in the practice room, he really wants to give himself to his truth, and to give from himself to other people. The spark, that throughout childhood ripened and grew within his relationships with his parents and close friends, turns into a strong shaft of light, unbroken and clear, comes out of every stage our child chooses to live on, and is projected to all the people he chooses to give to. His children, his clients, his friends, his book readers or his juggling audience. An adult, in the life of a rising spark, is a man who just lives on the stage of his life, in the center of his world (his perspective), expresses his makings generously and is available to give from himself to the world effortlessly.